A systematic approach to all the skills needed to become a top flight defender!
- Build your defense with drills that focus on footwork, positioning, closing out, breaking down and engaging with the offensive player
- Get drills designed to teach advanced techniques used when handling the ball, defending on-ball, or communicating off-ball
- Learn how to add competition to clearing drills to improve ball handling skills under pressure for your defenders
featuring Mike Morgan,
Merrimack College Head Men's Coach;
2019 and 2018 NCAA National Champions;
2017 USILA Division II National Coach of the Year;
Five Straight NCAA Tournament Appearances (2015-19);
2017 NCAA National Championship Runner-up;
All-Time Winningest Coach in Program History
Winning lacrosse requires a great defense. And a great defense is made up of players that have excellent fundamental individual skills. The stronger your defense is on an individual level, the better your team will perform in the game. Defenders must be great ball handlers, make quick decisions when defending and clearing, and have the discipline to play team defense whether they are in one-on-one or group defense.
Using a wide range of defensive practice drills, Coach Morgan demonstrates 12 drills in two parts. The first part focuses on individual stick skills: passing, footwork and communication. The second part builds from small group drills designed to work on slide rotations, communication, approach angles, spacing, and concludes with 7v7 in the box play focusing on slide packages and transition drills. Throughout the instruction, Morgan stresses footwork, communication, approach angles, vision, and teamwork.
Before each drill, Coach Morgan breaks the drill down on a white board and walks you through each drill on the field. The drills are designed to provide multiple repetitions during a short period of time to allow defensive players to handle the ball in a variety of situations, while also being able to fill a practice plan with other areas of the game. These easy-to-follow drills can be modified based on numbers and level of play.
The Individual Defender
A great individual player has great fundamental individual skills: fast and efficient footwork, the ability to approach and breakdown, to play on-ball defense, as well top notch stick skills with passing, catching, and ground balls. Morgan shows you how to advance your players' stick skills by creating game-like situations as well as adding pressure and competition to drills. This results in improved carryover from practice to actual game play.
Utilizing the B.O.C.E. (Backpedal, Open, Close, Engage) drill, Coach Morgan has his defenders develop a regimented system to turning away an offensive threat when they are in a 1v1 scenario. This reinforces how defenders can have a plan for terminating a threat without giving up a strategic position.
- Back pedaling of a dodger
- Opening up the hips to the path the opponent is taking
- Closing the path to keep the opponent from gaining a threatening position
- Engaging the opponent's body
Team defense requires players that know where to be positioned on the field under a variety of situations. Players must be able to slide and recover to support each other and be in constant communication. Morgan utilizes uneven situations in several of his drills to coordinate the individual fundamentals of approaching and breaking down with the teamwork skills of rotating a defense while still covering the crease side. He begins with a series of drills that break down the slide packages into 2-3 man segments. Once the players are comfortable with these concepts, he moves to more complex slide drills that force the defense to communicate and use all the skills they performed throughout the video.
The Richter Drill adds a unique twist to an old favorite: the fast break drill. Through modifying the number of players and their alignments, Morgan is able to quickly teach a variety of looks, including slow breaks, to challenge his defense to think ahead and work together.
If you want to increase the effectiveness of your defensive and enhance transition opportunities, this video is perfect for you. Coach Morgan not only provides your players the highest volume of repetitions for fundamental defensive ski